Knowing how to respond to phone calls appropriately is important, particularly when your job involves dealing with customers. Here is a list of telephone etiquette applicable to work:
Answer the call immediately. Don’t let the phone ring continuously for a long time. Ideally, you should answer the call by the second or third ring to avoid keeping the caller waiting.
Smile and keep your tone happy. Even though the caller cannot see you from the other end, you should still smile as if you are speaking in front of the person you are talking to. This is because how you feel will exude in your tone of voice. Your caller will be able to feel if you are not interested, if you are irritated, or if you are angry based on how you sound over the phone. So even if you’re not feeling very elated, try to smile and keep your tone happy.
Greet the caller. Upon picking up the phone, say the appropriate greeting enthusiastically. You may also state the name of your company or your name to let the caller know who is taking their call. Afterwards, ask the caller how you can be of help.
Speak clearly. It’s very important to speak clearly to make sure that you get your message across. Do not speak too fast. If your caller is dictating a phone number, be sure to repeat what has been dictated to make sure that you got the details correctly.
Jot down notes. See to it that you have a pen and paper ready so you can jot down the important details of the call. Don’t rely on your memory. Don’t forget to write the caller’s name, the reason for the call, and the time of call.
Close the call properly. Before closing the call, summarize what has been discussed to make sure that you understood the caller’s concerns. Ask the caller if you can be of more help then thank the caller before you hang up.
When placing the caller on hold:
Before you put your caller on hold, be sure to explain the reason why you need to do so. Perhaps you may need to speak with the other department, check some files, or clarify matters. Whatever the reason is, never put the phone on hold without informing the caller. Nevertheless, do not leave the line on hold for a long time. Ideally, you should get back to the line within 1 or 2 minutes.
When transferring a call:
When transferring a call, see to it that the call has been transferred successfully. Introduce the caller to the other person who is taking over the call. Ask the caller if you can be of other help before leaving the line.
Don’t use the office phone for your personal affairs. Don’t call your friends or family during work hours just to chat. If you must make an important call to your personal contact, keep it short so you can get back to your tasks right away.